Recent research from Co-operative Insurance (CIS) has found that the average British smoker spends just over £2,000 a year funding their smoking habit – that’s a breathtaking £121,000 in a lifetime!
Taking into account that on average a single person smokes 436,800 cigarettes from 21,840 packets purchased, CIS is urging consumers to finally kick the habit and save some money.
In addition to the money saved by stopping smoking - and the obvious benefits enjoyed through improved health – it can knock over a third off premiums for life, critical illness and income protection insurances. This is because medical evidence proves that smoking increases the risk of serious illnesses and exacerbates existing conditions.
Fiona Jackson, Head of Protection at Co-operative Insurance, says: “Giving up smoking can save people a significant amount of money as well as hopefully bringing a longer and better quality of life. Someone who is able to give up an addictive habit like smoking can certainly take charge of their own financial destiny and make adequate financial provisions for their future. Customers will definitely reap the rewards if they can kick the habit and no longer watch their money go up in smoke."
According to official statistics, smoking is more common in men (26 per cent) compared to 23 per cent of women.
Worryingly, smoking causes thirty per cent of all cancer deaths (including at least 84 per cent of lung cancer deaths), 17 per cent of all heart disease deaths and at least 80 per cent of deaths from bronchitis and emphysema.
The health benefits of stopping smoking start almost immediately:
20 minutes: Blood pressure and pulse return to normal
8 hours: Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in the blood are halved, oxygen levels in the blood return to normal
24 hours: Carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body and the lungs start to clear out the build up of tar
48 hours: There is no nicotine left in the body. Taste and smell are greatly improved
Life insurance: News update: April 2008